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tv   CBS Evening News With Katie Couric  CBS  September 9, 2010 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT

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koran burning if a deal is made it move the planned islamic cultural center away from ground zero, but the new york imam says there is no deal. i'm harry smith. is the damage already done? just today, the taliban spread leaflets in afghanistan saying america is islam's biggest enemy. plus fighting a killer, pan creak cancer. >> couric: what whatis your most profound hope? >> my hope is a cure displait katie reports a cure could soon be within reach thanks to stan and its dream team of researchers. captioning sponsored by cbs from cbs news world headquarters in new york, this is the "cbs evening news" with katie couric. >> smith: good evening. katie will be along later in the broadcast. we begin with a stunning development in the story that has ignited a firestorm of controversy all over the world. late today, the florida minister who promised to burn copies of
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the koran on the anniversary of 9/11 said he was cancelling the event. pastor terry jones said it's part of an agreement to move a planned islamic cultural center away from ground zero. though the center's imam tonight insisted there is no such deal and he says he's never even spoken to jones. the pastor's decision followed an appeal from president obama and a personal phone call from defense secretary robert gates. all of this as the state department has issued a warning to americans traveling overseas of possible revenge attacks, and even as there were more protests today in muslim nations. there is a lot to report tonight. kelly cobiella begins our coverage in gainesville, florida, kelly. >> reporter: good evening, harry. pastor terry jones has spent the entire day inside his church, then late in the day, came out request this completely unexpected announcement that he was calling off his protest on saturday in exchange for a promise that the controversial
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islamic center planned near ground zero would be moved. >> the imam has agreed to move the mosque. we have agreed to cancel our event on saturday, and on saturday i will be flying up there to meet with him. >> reporter: jones now claims the controversial islamic center near ground zero had always been a key factor in his decision. >> our thought was the american people do not, as a whole, want the mosque at the ground zero location. >> reporter: the man who apparently brokered the deal is muhammad musri ps. >> i have made this morning contact with the office of imam feisal abdul rauf, and got the commitment to fly up to new york and meet with him in the company of pastor jones to discuss and
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come to a decision on relocating the mosque. i want to thank pastor jones for his courage. >> reporter: the pastor seems to think that moving the center is a certainty. >> the mosque would be moved from the present location. i asked him three times or four times, and i have witnessed, and he made that promise. >> reporter: but immediately after the speech, i spoke to imam musri. is this set in stone? >> it is... a brokered deal, basically. this had to happen before a meeting over there would happen. so -- >> reporter: "this" meaning the end of this event? >> right. and the office of the imam said there is a commitment from the imam to meet with me and if i was to bring pastor jones along. >> reporter: the pastor seems to think that this is a sure thing, that this center will be
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moved, that he has your word. >> he said, "i don't care if it's moved today or 10 years from now, as long as eventually, there's no mosque at ground zero." and i'm committed to the same thing. >> reporter: you have no promise from him as yet that he will move it? >> no, i don't have a promise from the imam. i did not speak to the imam directly. >> reporter: musri, a father of five, lives in orlando and is the president of the islamic society of southern florida. he saw no other muslim leader stepping forward to talk to jones, so he dsimply knocking on the pastor's church door wednesday morning, then returning today with a new offer. >> as muslims we should be very sensitive to the feelings of the families of the victims of 9/11. >> reporter: so bottom line is, the clock ticking down to the burning of korans on the anniversary of 9/11 appears to have stopped for now. but it's not at all clear that there's even a meeting in new york, let alone an agreement. harry. >> smith: what a story.
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kelly cobiella in gainesville tonight. thank you very much. so deal or no deal? pastor jones' story is a lot different than the one we're hearing here in new york. his agreement not to burn the koran depend on the cooperation of an imam he's never even spoken with. elaine quijano is at the site of the proposed islamic center just blocks from ground zero and has that story. elaine, good evening. >> reporter: good evening to you, harry. well, tonight imam feisal abdul rauf is making clear he has no plans to move the proposed islamic cultural center and mosque away from the location behind me, just two blocks away from ground zero. in a written statement, just released a short time ago, the imam said: now, in another twist today, real estate developer donald
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trump today offered to buy the proposed site for 25% above what the developer paid for it. in a letter, trump explained he was making the offer... but tonight, that offer was flatley rejected. a lawyer for the project investor tells-- says that trump's offer was, "a cheap attempt to get publicity and get in the lime light." harry. >> smith: elaine quijano downtown for us tonight. thank you. in afghanistan, the taliban has been using this controversy to win new recruits. today, cbs news obtained taliban leaflets that urged villagers to join them in seeking revenge. mandy clark is inicable tonight. >> reporter: the leaflet said that america is the biggest enemy of islam and called on muslims to take revenge for the burning of the koran. the leaflets have been
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handwritten and dropped in paktia province. most villagers are illiterate so the leaflets would have been left with imams to read out in mosques and spread the word that way. the taliban has capitalized on the controversy at the holiest time of the year for muslims, a time when the mosques will be packed with followers. mandy clark, cbs news, kabul. >> smith: we want to bring in juan rabady. good evening. >> good evening, harry. >> smith: how much damage has already been done by this? >> well, harry, some damage has already been done. we've seen protests in muslim capitals around the world. we just heard about the taliban leaflets calling on acts of revenge, and the burning of koran has fed a perception that america is hostile toward islam and toward muslims, but i think we should all be breathing a collective sigh of relief because all that pales in comparison to what we would have seen if images of burning korans
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were splaived all over the world. >> smith: what would that have meant? >> i think general petraeus spoke to it and secretary clinton spoke to it as well that we would have seen an increase in threats, plots, and attacks against our troops, and generally, increased threat against the united states. in addition, more dangerously, it would have fed the perception that the u.s. is at war with islam, something that we've been fighting to undercut for some time. recall that president bush put the first koran in the white house. all of this burning of the koran incident would have undercut those efforts. >> smith: think about this, juan-- you have the president, the secretary of state, the secretary of defense, appealing to this preacher of a congregation of 30-some congregants who has threatened to do this one act. how would you characterize all this? >> well, i think it was unprecedented, but it demonstrates the seriousness and the danger of this potential act. they took this very seriously,
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and secretary gates thought he had to act to stop this. >> smith: saturday's 9/11 anniversary will be a day of freedom for one of three american hikers jailed in iran for more than a year now. iran says it will release 3 31-year-old sure to mark the end of the muslim holy month of ramadan. shourd has said she has been suffering from serious medical problems. it was the u.s. marines to the rescue in the gulf of beaden today where pirates had taken control of a german flag cargo ship betweeniemen and somalia. using helicopters as a diversion, the marines pulled alongside of ship in small boats and climbed aboard. the pirates gave up without a fight. all 11 crew members are safe. still ahead on the cbs evening news, highway deaths are at the lowest they've been in six decades. what is behind the dramatic drop? but up next, they say they feel like strangers in their own
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country. muslims shocked by the growing opposition to new mosques.
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>> smith: the furor over plans to burn the koran and the building of the proposed islamic center near ground zero has had ripple effects all across america. there are 2.5 million muslims in this country, and about 1900 mosques, but building a mosque
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has suddenly become a hot-button issue in many communities. as seth doane reports, that's just what happened in murfesboro, tennessee. >> reporter: like most 13-year-olds he's proud of his school, his soccer trophies, and his country. >> i'm as american as you get. i'm as patriotic as you get. i mean, i'm america all the way. >> reporter: he's also proud of his religion. salim sbenaty is muslim, and nowadays, this tennessee town that's been his family's home for nearly 20 years, doesn't feel the same. >> i'm always afraid for my mom because there are always a few stupid people out there. you never know what they're going to do, and my mom wearing that scarf is a symbol saying, "hey, i'm muslim." >> reporter: about 250 muslim families live here in murfreesboro, tennessee. for decades they've lived in peace and have prayed at a small local mosque. but then trouble started brewing over this site where they wanted
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to expand and build a bigger islamic center. in june, residents packed meetings in protest. >> if construction does begin, i would also encourage contractors to boycott it. >> reporter: in what some call a vocal minority got louder. >> they want to make this instead of one nation under god, america, they want to make this under islam. >> reporter: a few weeks ago, construction equipment at the site was set on fire and with that, the arsonists set nerves on edge, too. salim's dad says even after september 11 he didn't see hatred like this. >> it's very hard for me to forget what i've heard directed toward me from people who don't know me. >> reporter: nationwide, more than half a dozen proposed islamic centers have run into roadblocks from temecula, california, to sheboygan, wisconsin, to the high-profile one near ground zero. is this really about a building or is it about something bigger? >> it's about the growing hatr
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hatred, you know, against muslims. >> reporter: salim's 20-year-old sister dema says for the first time she's scared. >> it's very disappointing. it really is, because this country was founded upon freedom of religion. >> reporter: across town this morning, 10-year-old zaid abuzahrarks had more than on his mind than school. last week at recess some bullies learned he was muslim. >> and they started calling me terrorist. you're a muslim. this is america. >> reporter: how did it make you feel? >> awkward, sad, like, surprising. >> reporter: a surprise to many here who watched the news and wonder. >> first amendment, ever since i was little and had to memorize it, freedom of religion, it says it. >> reporter: in that first amendment, another right-- freedom of speech, some just hard tore hear. seth doane, cbs news,
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murfreesboro, tennessee.
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>> smith: some remarkable news tonight about the nation's highways-- they are getting safer. last year, fewer than 34 how americans died in crashes. that's a big number, but nancy cordes reports that's the smallest number since before the interstate highway system was created. >> reporter: not since 1950 have traffic deaths been this low. plunging nearly 10% in 2009 to
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33,800. why? partly because safety features like side curtain airbags are increasingly becoming standard equipment, along with antiroll over technology and electronic stability control. the car on top has it. the car on the bottom doesn't. >> buckle up, day and night, or expect a ticket. >> reporter: public campaigns promoting seat belt use. and railing against distracted driving may also be paying off. >> talking and texting while driving isn't worth the risk. >> no one needs to die today. >> reporter: but there's another major reason for the dip, say auto experts, and that is the nation's weak economy. >> teenagers aren't driving. people who might go to a bar on saturday night are cutting back on that. so the riskiest drivers aren't on the road, and traffic death goes down. >> reporter: that could help explain why motorcycle fatalities were also down in 2009. for the first time in 12 years.
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harry. >> smith: nancy cordes in washington tonight. thanks. there is a new kind of speed bump for drivers in vancouver, canada. as children went back to school this week, traffic safety officials placed a 3 d sign on a busy street. it looks like a little girl chasing a ball, but it's actually an optical illusion, a virtual reminder to drivers to slow down and keep their eyes on the road. katie is in los angeles tonight getting ready for tomorrow's special stan broadcast. stand up to cancer broadcast. katie. >> couric:ed stand up 2 cancer funds dream team friday all across the country, scientists from different institutions working together to fight this disease. up next you'll meet the dream team that's targeting pancreatic cancer and the progress that's being made.
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>> couric: tomorrow night, cbs and the other major networks are joining forces once again to bring you stand up 2 cancer, a program designed to raise awareness of the disease and raise money to fight it. some of that money is funding research against one of the
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deadliest forms of cancer, pancreatic. this year, more than 43,000 americans will be diagnosed with it, and nearly 37,000 will die of it. it's already claimed the lives of people like michael landon, patrick swazey, and my sister, emily. but now, thanks to cutting edge research, more and more patients have reason to hope. howard young was living the dream. >> how you doing? >> couric: the atlanta beer distributor had a business he loved and a family he cherished. >> 42 years old, i thought i was bulletproof, just felt like everything was going along great rnls then came a devastate, diagnosis-- pancreatic cancer, a disease with the lowest survival rate of all cancers. you read the statistics, howard, when you went online after diagnosis, and you know that, what, 75% of pancreatic cancer patients die within a year? >> that's true.
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i think the first web site i looked at said it's a virtual death sentence. >> couric: young had surgery, followed by chemotherapy and radiation. doctors told him even if everything went well, he'd have a 20% chance of living six months. >> come on in and have a seat. >> couric: that was eight years ago, and he's still going strong. >> the good news is, is there are many more howards, and there are going to be a lot more of them. magnetic resonance imaging-- >> couric: dr. daniel von hoff of the tgen research institute in phoenix had already developed one of the few effective treatments for pancreatic cancer, gemcitabine. >> it improved survival from 2% to 18%. >> couric: but, he says, stubborn pancreatic tumors still managed to protect themselves against the drug because they're surrounded by a tough, fibrous cocoon. >> the idea is we have to either prevent this cocoon from forming or we have to get rid of it after it's formed, and we have a
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much better chance of getting the drug in. >> couric: so at the request of stand up 2 cancer, dr. von hoff joined forces with another leading cancer expert, 2,000 miles away. >> they had the clinical expertise. we had the scientific expertise, and together we could really make a dream team. >> gliewt mean comes into the cell as a major fuel source. >> couric: dr. craig thompson of the university of pennsylvania thinks starving pancreatic tumors of the food they use for fuel, an amino acid called glutamine, just might crack that cancer cocoon. >> we want to shut off the feel we think is driving the production of both the cocoon and fueling the division of the cancer cells. >> couric: with an $18 million grant from stand up to cancer, a clinical trial begins this month, for three drugs, one that targets theica coon, another that targets the tumor and a third intended to cut off the cancer's fuel supply. >> so by cutting off the fuel,
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by creating damage with the gemcitabine, and by eliminating the cocoon, we're going to strip off all the defenses of the pancreatic cancer cell and, therefore, kill it. >> couric: two-third of this chemocombo has already worked wonders for howard young, who has had no signs of cancer since 2009. he's resumed an active, bidsy life of work, golf, and most of all, family. family. i'm sure there are a lot of things you want to be around for. when you think of those things, what are they? >> oh, graduations, weddings. i've got three daughters, and besides trying to find a way to pay for the weddings, i'd like to attend them, too. >> couric: you'd like to walk them down the aisle. >> absolutely right. >> couric: and until there's a cure, this team of doctors is out to prove that remission is not mission impossible. >> there's an awful lot of people out there depending on us, and we hope not to disappoint. >> couric: and there is reason
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to hope because cancer is being attacked on so many fronts. tomorrow, dr. johnula poo jon ll tell bufascinating efforts to change the way cancer gene genes behave. i'm katie couric, thank you for watching, i'll see you tomorrow. good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh
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and the campaign chaos in prince george's county as the early voting comes to an end in maryland. >> i'm scott broom in an early voting location where there is a record number of candidates and voters are overwhelmed by all the people and signs. >> reporter: so much is up for grabs. county executive, jack johnson and glen ivy are both stepping aside, for instance, leaving many officers open and others trying to move on. and the big race is for the county executives. the top two contenders, out of five, are former state delegate, rusher, and baker, and the current sheriff, michael jackson. >> ane


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